The Huffington Post announced Thursday that articles written by conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart have been banned from the site’s front page. The decision comes one day after activist group Color of Change launched a campaign with that goal.
Breitbart was banned, according to Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz, for making ad hominem attacks directed at Color of Change co-founder Van Jones in an interview published earlier on Thursday by The Daily Caller.
Breitbart called Jones, who resigned from his position in the Obama administration following a series of revelations, including that he had once signed a 9-11 “truther” petition, ”a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster.”
“Andrew Brietbart’s [sic] ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page,” Ruiz wrote in a statement announcing the decision.
According to Ruiz, Breitbart will continue to be allowed to author content for the site, “provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did.” The guidelines “include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks.”
The decision has yielded criticism from several online bloggers. “I’m disappointed and annoyed to see The Huffington Post buckling under a pressure campaign,” wrote David Weigel of Slate. “A strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks! (‘Against Arianna’s friends,’ is the big of that sentence that spokesman Marco Ruiz left out),” wrote Alex Pareene of Salon.
Breitbart is far from the first prominently featured contributor to The Huffington Post that has made ad hominem attacks (though unlike others who had their ad hominem attacks published in posts on The Huffington Post, Breitbart’s comments were not made in posts on the site).
The Huffington Post published an article by actor John Cusack in November 2005 that called Republicans “a league of bastards” and said that Iraq war supporters “are human scum.”
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote an article appearing on The Huffington Post a day after the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist in September 2005. Dershowitz wrote that Rehnquist “started out his political career as a Republican thug” and that “Rehnquist’s judicial philosophy was result-oriented, activist, and authoritarian.”
Rehnquist was a “friend of corporations, polluters, right wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and other bigots,” Dershowitz wrote.
“Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately,” wrote actor Alec Baldwin in February 2006.
Baldwin wrote in a subsequent post, “I want to apologize to all of the readers of this blog for referring to Vice President Cheney as a terrorist… How about something more measured, then? How about… a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the US Constitution?”